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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

EU to ban stun fishing. For the second time

The EU's identity as a corrupt but inept bureaucracy was confirmed yesterday as French, Belgian, Irish and British MEPs dealt a kick to their Dutch colleagues in requiring the Council to add a new ban on stun fishing to a change in fishing rules. The Dutch fishing minister now faces another kicking from Dutch trawler owners who have spent over £300k per boat converting vessels to electric stun fishing. The vote was 402 to 232 - by no means overwhelming, indicating nations other than the Netherlands have a snout in this eco-destructive trough. 

The story to date is this. First, the EU banned stun fishing in 1998. Then produced a scientific / technical report in 2006 recommending continuing the ban. Despite which, Dutch lobbying, blackmail or string pulling managed to get an exemption for Dutch trawlers - with the effects described in a previous post HERE.  However, British, French, Belgian and Irish fishermen have mounted an effective and concerted campaign to expose the deep harm caused by the Dutch - with the result that MEPs, fearful of the political reaction at home rather than out of principle, I suspect, have acted. 

However, the law will be written by the EU Council. This leaves the Dutch some wriggle room to water down the requirement, delay it or fail to implement what the EP have requested. These delaying and blocking tactics are all part of the wonderfully corrupt way in which the EU works. 

For the UK, one major problem remains. As I wrote in November:-
One current problem is that Dutch boats can fly the red duster and take UK quotas; the previous requirement on UK flagged vessels being owned by Brit nationals was overturned. Our 1988 Merchant Shipping Act was challenged by the European Court of Justice in the Factortame case and overturned - requiring us to register foreign-owned fishing boats.  A single Dutch owned and crewed vessel, the Cornelis Vrolijk, but UK flagged, accounts for almost a quarter of the entire English catch and about 6 per cent of the total UK quota. It lands all catches - some £17m annually - in the Netherlands.
Michael Gove must act now to prepare to reverse the effects of Factortame and to restore the 1988 Merchant Shipping Act to the form in which it was agreed by our sovereign parliament. 


John Brown said...

Have the EU supporting Green Party ever made any comments about stun fishing ?

Hector Drummond said...

Another important EU story our media fails to cover.

Anonymous said...

Since we are the nation of rubber stamping and adhering to rules, could we not board a UK registered vessel and charge the skipper with breaching EU rules? I'm sure if he was from Looe he would already be locked up with his vessel impounded.

Bill Sticker said...

Interesting study here, which indicates that stun fishing may have a lower environmental impact than trawling. Which might sound a bit counter intuitive, but data is data.

Cascadian said...

Progress is noted on potentially beneficial actions for all fishermen in the North Sea, however we are talking here of EU council action, what is noticeably absent is any independent action by the yUK government.
When this desire for action may become actionable law is still unknown. Will it take so long that eventually the entire fishery is destroyed? (similar to the Newfoundland cod fishery) before electro-fishing is banned.
Factually, I doubt Gove will do anything, the Maybe government is too intent on Ministers of Loneliness and wimmins quotas to grasp an idea that is beneficial to yUK industry and employment.

Raedwald said...

Bill - that study is for a method for harvesting razor clams - imho the method used for fish in the water column is somewhat different, but tx.

DeeDee99 said...

If the Dutch stun fishing exemption was for the purposes of research - as was originally claimed - none of the catch would be allowed to enter the human food chain.

Michael Gove needs to make it absolutely clear to Theresa the Appeaser that restoration of our 200-mile fishing waters is essential for both economic and environmental reasons: we must be able to ban this practice and keep out foreign fishing vessels who do not have a British Government fishing permit and meet OUR environmental/ecological standards.

Budgie said...

Our leaders (I hesitate in saying our "elite") seem to think us ordinary UK folk are put on earth to labour so that they can give away the wealth we earn to promote their concept of "soft power". We mustn't offend the Dutch; and we can apparently only make friends by giving away our wealth. It's immeasurably sad really.